Yesterday the North Dakota House of Representatives voted against removing North Dakota’s ‘blue laws’ that prevent businesses from opening before noon on Sunday. The bipartisan change in HB 1163, introduced by Democratic-NPL Representative Pam Anderson, would have allowed businesses to decide when to open their doors.
In North Dakota, we pride ourselves on limited government or at least that is what you hear every election cycle. “Get government out of the way.” or “We must eliminate burdensome government regulations on business.” or “Free market capitalism!” What bigger government regulation is there than telling a business when they can and cannot be open to turn a profit.
I watched the floor debate to get a better understanding of why legislators decided this specific government barrier on business must stay. Here is what I learned:
My wife has no problem spending everything I earn in six and a half days. – Rep. Vernon Laning
Governments generally have taken enough steps, and individuals on their own accord have done enough to push God out of their lives. – Rep. Sebastian Ertelt
Maybe you don’t go to church. I’ve got some suggestions…Make him [husband] breakfast and bring it to him in bed. – Rep. Bernie Satrom
So let me see if I’m following correctly. North Dakota government should continue to tell businesses they cannot be open on Sunday’s before noon because hopefully your wife spent the money you earned on groceries during one of the six and a half days the store is allowed to be open so that she can make you breakfast in bed. And though Rep. Ertelt typically wants you to stay home and make more babies, you should at least get out of the house for church on Sunday morning.
UPDATE: The ND House just reconsidered HB 1163 and it passed 48-46. It will now move onto the Senate. Rep. Laning, Ertelt, and Satrom remained on the ‘no’ side.